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Friday, February 23, 2024

How Man United can raise over £250m shifting deadwood this summer:

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A new era is underway at Manchester United and Sir Jim Ratcliffe means business.The billionaire Ineos chief has been in the news on an almost daily basis since his £1.3billion investment in the club was confirmed on Christmas Eve.Ratcliffe is now in charge of football operations at Old Trafford with the power to hire and fire, promising a major shake-up to end years of drift and decay under the Glazers. This week, club staff were told Ratcliffe’s influence will extend into United’s commercial operations as well.But as Erik ten Hag’s side flounder on the field, it’s obvious a major squad overhaul should be the news owners’ top priority. Sir Jim Ratcliffe has taken up the reins at Manchester United following his £1.3billion buy-in Erik ten Hag’s future as manager isn’t entirely secure but he can expect squad investment There could be a very different complexion to United’s side next season after an overhaul The current January transfer window was always going to be quiet as all Premier League clubs strain to stay within Financial Fair Play limits.United may yet sign a back-up striker for Rasmus Hojlund in the final days of the window but most deals have been outgoings, with Jadon Sancho, Donny van de Beek and Hannibal Mejbri loaned out.The summer window promises to be more hectic and United certainly have plenty of deadwood they could move on to raise valuable funds for new recruits.AntonyWith Antony failing to provide a single goal or assist in 22 United outings this season, there must be a growing temptation among the new owners to cut losses.Ten Hag pushed very hard to sign the £85.5m Brazilian winger from his old club Ajax in 2022 but Antony hasn’t come anywhere close to justifying that price tag.The CIES Football Observatory still value Antony around the £51m mark. Many will see even that as optimistic given his often infuriating displays but United need to recoup something substantial if they write him off as a bad job. Antony hasn’t come close to justifying his £83million price tag and United could cut losses Diogo DalotDalot has fallen back behind Aaron Wan-Bissaka this season in the duel to be United’s first choice right-back.But it’s Wan-Bissaka who has been linked with the move away from Old Trafford with Saudi club Al-Nassr joining his old club Crystal Palace, West Ham and Inter Milan as reported suitors.The feeling persists that United do need an upgrade at right-back so one or both their current options will have to go. CIES put Dalot’s value at a very high £51m, so he could be good for a quick buck in the summer to reinvest in a replacement. Diogo Dalot appeared to be one of the few United players to have increased his market valueScott McTominayMcTominay’s work ethic and the fact he’s been at United since the age of five endears him to the fanbase. This season he’s saved Ten Hag’s skin with crucial goals.There have been suggestions Ratcliffe values a homegrown core at United and the club want to tie McTominay down to a long-term contract.But the Scot was transfer-listed last summer and might have joined West Ham. A change of manager could see him out of favour again and United would hope to get £40m of pure profit for him. Scott McTominay is enjoying a very good season but could still be sold on over the summerJadon SanchoBack with Borussia Dortmund on loan, it seems highly improbable Sancho will play for United again so long as Ten Hag remains the boss.That follows their fall-out earlier in the season and if Ten Hag remains, the club would be likely to sell the England winger, who hasn’t come close to living up to the £73m they shelled out in 2021.As with Antony, it would be the kind of mammoth financial hit Ratcliffe is determined to put a stop to. If United get back half what they paid for Sancho, it would be a good outcome. Jadon Sancho is back on the field with loan club Borussia Dortmund after being cast outCasemiroExceptional and worth every single penny last season; past it and then crocked this season.Casemiro is unfortunately looking like another example of United financial waste. He cost £70m to buy and gets a whopping £300,000-a-week. No wonder United are watching the pennies.The Brazilian midfielder, 31, won’t be short of interest from Saudi Arabia and probably elsewhere if United decide to sell. Again though, his value has dropped off a cliff from the inflated fee paid – CIES put his transfer value at a mere £25m. United may be keen to get Casemiro’s £300,000-a-week wages off their books quite soonAaron Wan-BissakaAs mentioned earlier, Wan-Bissaka is already being tipped for a move away from Old Trafford with seemingly little prospect of a contract extension.Despite being consistently top-ranked for tackles in the Premier League, Wan-Bissaka lacks the offensive game that is increasingly expected of a full-back.Wan-Bissaka has supplied just one assist in two-and-a-half seasons of Premier League football. So it’s another loss – United paid £45m plus £5m in add-ons to Palace in 2019 but they might only get £20m back. Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s days at Old Trafford could also be numbered amid transfer interestAnthony MartialThe Frenchman requires groin surgery and the expected 10-week absence means he’s probably played his last game for United.It’s a sorry end to an Old Trafford career that, apart from the odd flickers, has comprehensively fallen short of expectations.With his contract expiring this summer, they’ll get no transfer fee for him but at least his £250,000-a-week wages will be off the books. Anthony Martial is unlikely to play another game for United as they release him in the summerVictor LindelofLindelof was a frequent starter for United until he too suffered a groin injury, slotting into defence with Raphael Varane out of favour and even popping up at left-back.United activated 12-month option to preserve the Swede’s market value as he could have left for nothing in the summer.But they might only get about £15m if they move him on. Victor Lindelof has found favour under Ten Hag and United extended his deal by 12 months Raphael VaraneVarane’s fall from being one of United’s best performers last season – forging a strong central defensive partnership with Lisandro Martinez – to suddenly being their fourth or fifth-choice is an odd one.He has returned to Ten Hag’s side in recent games but United have decided not to extend his current £340,000-a-week deal by 12 months, leaving him free to leave this summer.However, Varane may yet commit to a longer-term deal if talks work out. If not, United might get £15m-£20m back for a player they paid £41m for. Raphael Varane has returned to the team but his Old Trafford future remains up in the air Facundo PellistriMinutes on the pitch have been a precious commodity for Pellistri, who has started just three games this season and is behind Antony on the right-side of attack.United probably wouldn’t get a lot for the Uruguayan, who is still only 22, with CIES putting his marked value at a modest £8.5m. Facundo Pellistri struggles for game time and there has been interest in the Uruguayan Amad DialloHaving impressed on loan at Sunderland last season, the winger’s hopes of kicking on back at United were dashed by an early season knee injury.Amad has only just returned to fitness, playing in the defeat at Nottingham Forest before the New Year.There has been a loan request from Middlesbrough this month though United intend to keep Amad. But if an offer comes in over the summer, CIES put his value at £8.5m. Amad Diallo finally returned to action against Nottingham Forest last month after an injury 

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